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Ovarian to stroke

My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 13 months ago. Surgery revealed the cancer was wrapped around her intestines (stage 3). The surgeons attempted to remove what they could. Two days later she was readmitted to the hospital. Her intestine had been perforated during surgery and she was defacating in her stomach. One week later, following many complications, she was intubated in ICU. Sometime during her stay nurses noted that she was not moving her left side. Turns out she suffered a stroke... sometime. Because of her condition a CT was never done. My question? What kind of stroke do you think it was? Mom was 60. Healthy weight. Walked daily. Never had hypertension. Did not drink, smoke etc. Essentially, not a candidate for a stroke. The left side of her body is immobile; her speech is barely audible; her short and long term memory has been affected; she is highly emotionaly - cries all the time and doesn't follow convesation long. Hope that information helps in diagnosing the type of stroke. Thank you for your time.  
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167426 tn?1254089835
Types of stroke

Most strokes occur when a blood clot blocks one of the arteries (blood vessels) that carries blood to the brain. This type of stroke is called an ischaemic stroke.

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is a short-term stroke that lasts for less than 24 hours. The oxygen supply to the brain is restored quickly, and symptoms of the stroke disappear completely. A transient stroke needs prompt medical attention as it is a warning of serious risk of a major stroke.

Cerebral thrombosis occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in an artery (blood vessel) supplying blood to the brain. Furred-up blood vessels with fatty patches of atheroma (arteriosclerosis) may make a thrombosis more likely. The clot interrupts the blood supply and brain cells are starved of oxygen.

Cerebral embolism is a blood clot that forms somewhere in the body before travelling through the blood vessels and lodging in the brain. This causes the brain cells to become starved of oxygen. An irregular heartbeat or recent heart attack may make you prone to forming emboli.

Cerebral haemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain and bleeds (haemorrhages). With a haemorrhage, extra damage is done to the brain tissue by the blood that seeps into it.

A CVA in not uncomman during and after major surgery.  Usually in the healthy person it is an embolism. With rehab most regain some if not most all of their mobility.  I suppose they put her on a blood thinner , like Warfarin,  That must be followed closely with pro times to gage the dosage.  So she has had no chemo  for the cancer?   I am so sorry to hear about your Mothers illness, bad enough to have the cancer but along with a stroke, it must be so hard on her and you also.
Avatar universal
Wow, thank you so much for that thorough reply! It helps me piece certain aspects of my mother's medical puzzle together.

She just started her second round of chemo - doxil, I believe. I'm in the process of trying to obtain her medical records... and I'm going to look into whether or not she is on a blood thinner. For some reason I don't think so. The doxil is just buying her more time, according to her oncologist. It will hopefully shrink the nodules that are lining her peratoneal cavity but there is no chance of eradication at this point. We're just chasing the number (CA125).  

What aspect of surgery makes a an embolic stroke "not uncommon" (in a healthy person)? Does something mislodge during or after surgery, drift through the bloodstream then get caught up in the brain? Is there a correlation with infection?

Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.  
167426 tn?1254089835
when the intestine was perforated a condition called peritonitis was set up,  that in it's self can cause the following situation.

Sepsis -- an infection throughout the blood and body that can potentially cause multiple organ failure
Abnormal clotting of the blood (generally due to significant spread of infection)
Formation of fibrous tissue in the peritoneum
Adult respiratory distress syndrome -- a severe infection of the lungs
Some forms of chronic peritonitis do not respond to treatment.
The prognosis for peritonitis depends primarily on the type of the condition. For example, the outlook for those with secondary peritonitis tends to be poor (10 - 40% death rate), especially among the elderly, individuals with compromised immune systems, and those who have had symptoms for longer than 48 hours before treatment.  It is generally very good after treatment with antibiotics.

so the abnormal clotting of the blood can lead to a "stroke"    the surgery done was to remove the cancer, with the perforation it was an emergency to fight the infection, that she was a "healthy" person going into the surgery, that helped her overcome the infection.  If most of the cancer was removed and she is on Doxil now, perhaps that will control the cancer. I did a lot of work with returning "stroke" victims and with a great deal; of patience . many can return to a better quality of life.  There are some natural herbs that are used to enhance the healing of the brain. Dead brain cells do not regain their functions but other paths can be trained to do some of the cognitive powers. You might check into the rehab centers in your area and have her evaluated for what progress they think she might be able to do.  My daughter is on Doxil at the present time, it does take at the minimum of 4 infusions to see if it works.  Be sure to read up on the Doxil site about the side affects and make sure your Mother is protected from them. Sounds like she was staged at level 3,  and a recurrance is the usual thing.  To have to fight OVCA and return from a stroke is a double whammy, Good Luck to you and your Mother.

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